Monday, May 29, 2006

Mama Monday #15

Theme: Warm

That water's too hot, Mommy. You need to make it warmer.

Oh, I'll get Teddy from the drying machine, Mommy. Oooohhh, he's very hot. He needs to be nice and warm.

Warm clothes from the dryer, warm tubbies, warm blankets, nice, warm soup - all things I love about the cooler months of the year.

But now it's spring, almost the summer.

Warm weather = cold ice cream time, popsicles, barbeques, and playing outside on slides, swings and balance beams.

Warm weather = potty training time! - Third day and going pretty well! Plus, there's the promise of a brand new swimming pool once training is done.

I enjoy the cooler months more - I admit. But Sweetie loves the warmer months - the heat of the sun, the endless outdoor possibilities and the pretty little sandals she can wear on her tiny toes - feeling the green grass tickle her feet as she runs across the yard.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ya know?

Ya know when you find something really cool and you want to share it but then you realize it would make an excellent gift so you just keep it to yourself but then you research more and find there are actually alot of, let's say, accessories, to the original cool gift item, thus making it even that much more cool and interesting and something you want to share but you can't because you're waiting for the next gift-giving occasion which isn't really coming up as soon as you'd like so you start to make up excuses to give a gift, which is alright if you're only going to go with your original gift because it's totally alright to give someone you love a gift "just because" but in this instance you can't give just one gift because you've already spilled the beans to said giftee that they're gonna be in for a world of awesome gifts soon so if you give even one small part of the whole package the whole package will, in essense, be given away, so to speak, because now said giftee knows what the whole deal is about?

Yeah - well, that's me. Right now. Waiting for Father's Day to hurry up and get here already so I can get all this gift-finding-and-giving-angst finally off my chest.

And also....

You know how you know your husband has his own "chores" (i.e. making the yard all nice and pretty) and you have your chores (i.e. laundry, dishes, vacuuming and, oh yeah - this weekend in particular - potty training) and you don't want to begrudge your husband from doing what does truly need to be done and, after all, he's doing it for you as he's working on a secret hidden flower garden that you know you're absolutely going to love but it sure would be nice to see him this weekend but you can't because you're stuck in the house like a prisoner, waiting for "the poop to come down, Mommy" wondering if you should just stick her back in a diaper so she'll just poop already and only concern yourself with getting the whole peeing in the potty thing down, cuz at least she's not peeing all over the place every 10 minutes like the last time you attempted this (and, gee, it sure would be nice to interact with adults), so after you're done in the yard, you go have fun at the second movie of your weekend, Hubby, (which I really don't begrudge you either because I know how much you want to see these flicks and it's a long weekend and friends and familiy members are actually finally available to go with you to see them) while Sweetie and I stay on potty patrol.

All I'm saying is - thank goodness Nana just called and invited Sweetie and me over this afternoon while Hubby goes with his parents to see The Da Vinci Code (admittedly - I absolutely LOVED this book, but I am a complete wimp when it comes to movies and I won't go see this one - too intense for me, thank you very much.)

At any rate, I feel better now. Thank you.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #9

Netflix movie of the day: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Two quick things today:

Sweetie found a cookie mix in the back hall closet at Nana's house this week. She brought it to the kitchen and asked,

Can we make these cookies, Nana?

Not today, Sweetie. We'll make them tomorrow.

At that, Sweetie informed my mom just why the cookies had to be made - now:

Your mommy, Mimi, said to make these cookies!

Wow. My grandmother, whom we called Mimi, passed away, oh, about 11 or 12 years ago. And we very rarely mention her, especially by name. So, guess what? Nana made the cookies right away.

Sweetie has had other sightings of Mimi and my grandfather, Chuckpa. Click here to read about 'em.


Nana picked Sweetie up from "school" on Thursday. The report to me was that Sweetie was a little upset upon leaving, because some boys in her class were callling her names.

Goodbye Bubble Head.

Goodbye Stinky.


Sweetie has her moments of not wanting to be teased. And she almost always insists that people use her real name when addressing her. So she was clearly upset by the boys' name-calling.

Nana had to comfort Sweetie and tell her they were just teasing.

Boys only tease because they like you.

They do?

Yep! They sure do!

Well, okay.

That's it. It's home-schooling all the way! No one's ever going to upset my Sweetie again!

I mean, I can control that, right?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It Ain't Over Til...Well, It's Over

Did I tell you I'm in a book club now? Yup - a book club. For moms, no less. We've only met once so far, and it's a small group, but they're really nice women and we seem to get along great and enjoy our discussions.

So, for this month's selection, we're reading Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach. I'm only about half way through, but I'm loving it! Basically, it's the story of a woman raising her two small children, one of whom has autism. The book details her struggles with teaching him and socializing him. It also tells of what kinds of support she finds (and doesn't find) in her family, friends and professionals. Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming - it's a truly great read!

The book did get me thinking though (as any good book should). The story makes me realize, Gee - you just never can be sure, can you?

I mean, you give birth to a beautiful little baby, all 10 fingers and 10 toes in place; a healthy cry, and a beautiful, rosy complexion. She's here, you think. We've done it, you say to your partner. We've brought a healthy little baby into our lives. That's all we really wanted. Big sigh of relief, big rush of new, unconditional love. All is right in the world now that baby is here in the flesh.

But you know what? Maybe everything's not alright. Maybe within a few days, weeks, months or even years you'll find out your rosy little baby is not as healthy as first believed. She's not thriving like she should be. She's not gaining weight as fast as others her age. She's not getting over her cough and cold very fast. She's not hitting many of the developmental milestones that she's expected to reach and surpass as she grows. She's just... not.

Such is the case for the protagonist's son in my book club book. And such is the case for a good friend's brand new baby daughter.

Not even one month old yet, little Annie*'s parents just got the results of a brand new newborn blood test. Little Annie's cells show the mutation for Cystic Fibrosis. Further testing confirmed - little Annie does in fact have Cystic Fibrosis (as opposed to "just" being a carrier of the chronic condition).

We've all been waiting for Annie a long, long time. Her older sister - presumably healthy, by the way, but now she too will have to be tested for CF - just turned 6-years old. Annie has come into the world after at least 3 miscarriages - each showing progressively worse development and health of the fetus - left her parents feeling saddened, stressed and disheartened that they'd never have a sibling for their only child. Yet here she is, finally. A beautiful, smiling, rosy little bundle of love.

Understandably, Annie's parents worried throughout the pregnancy that baby would be healthy. Even extensive prenatal tests showing the healthy, normal development of baby were not enough to absolutely settle their minds that all would turn out well this time. Annie's mommy, in fact, commented often that she would not be able to relax and feel confident until baby was here in her arms, healthy and happy.

Well - that day came. About 2 1/2 weeks early, in fact. Annie was born and she was perfect! Totally healthy, good cry, good color - simply perfect. Happiness, relief and joy became the order of the day. After so much sadness of previous loss - finally, a healthy baby sister for their older daughter. Everyone could finally relax.

And then, weeks later - the phone call. Cell mutation in the form of CF. Does she have it? Or is she a carrier? Yes, she has it.

Shock, anger, sadness, hurt, disbelief. How could this be? What more could this family be put through? Why them? Why can't little Annie be as completely healthy as she appears to be? Why?

Courageously, these friends of ours are very strong, spirited and spiritual people. They are fortunate to have a large, loving family and close friends to help them through, not to mention a top notch team of doctors working on Annie's case, helping them to understand what her life will be like and what they must do to ensure she leads a healthy, normal-as-possible, long life.

An email from my friend (Annie's mom) yesterday not only updated us on Annie's condition but also showed the positive, strong outlook the family has regarding staying on top of Annie's care and helping her grow into a happy, normal life. Who knows why this has happened, but it could be worse, they know. They will get by and life will be good, they know in their heart.

But, really... it all just goes to show.... you just never know. And just because a pregnancy is over, doesn't mean the troubles, worries, and life hurdles are over at all. Not by a long shot. It brings home the point - you've just got to live life to the fullest and jump as high as you can over the pot holes and pit falls life is sure to throw at you along your journey.


I changed little Annie's name here, just because it feels like the right thing to do. Also, I do not pretend to understand what CF is all about. Please visit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation if you're interested in learning more about this chronic condition.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mama Monday # 14

Theme: Nature

I hope y'all don't think I'm copping out this week, but - this one is easy. Just sorry I'm so late in posting today. Oh well.

Sweetie's favorite movie (up until about a month ago, anyway) is Madagascar. She loves to run around the house, quoting her favorite line from the film.

Ahhhh! Nature! It's all over me! Get it off!

Melman - gotta love him!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Burnt Toast

Sweetie's sick. With a stomach bug. Poor thing can't keep anything down. Trouble is, she's already gotten rid of whatever little food she ate yesterday. Now it's just mucus and acid. No fun.

But she's sleeping now. It's 5:15 a.m. and she and I are downstairs on the couch. After getting sick in her bed twice since 3 a.m., and I can't sleep now anyway, we decided to come downstairs to rest. She's admittedly still tired, yet she requested the light on and to watch something on T.V. Only once I submitted to her requests did she finally close her eyes and fall asleep. Hopefully she can get some rest now.

Hubby is sleeping too. I know because I had to go upstairs past our bedroom to turn on the computer's modem. And since he didn't say boo to me, I know he's asleep. Good - at least one of us is.

I haven't slept since Sweetie first got us up this morning, just after 3 a.m. Hopefully I can find a span of time to take a nap later today.

Well, that's about it. I just figured I'd write while the opportunity existed. It's going to be a long day.


Edited to update: It's now 6:45 a.m. and we're all downstairs now. But, again, Sweetie and Hubby are sleeping. I am not. I'm doing laundry.

Burnt Toast - you sure got that right, Teri. That's all I have to say about that.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #8 - Birthday Edition

Netflix movie of the day: Pride and Prejudice, again. See, the last disc we had was defective, so I sent it back. Now I have a working copy (I hope) and I'll be watching it soon.

The other night I was trying to settle Sweetie down before we took her to bed. But Hubby was riling her up. Finally she and I sat to look at her I Spy book. Sweetie is very orderly about the way we look at this book. We take turns, and we have to say, I spy with my little eye, every single time.

She and I were doing just fine, but Daddy kept butting in - saying silly things, and generally making Sweetie aggitated. I finally told Hubby - firmly but quietly - Don't make her flip out.

Next thing we knew, Sweetie turned to Daddy too and told him very sternly

Don't make me flip out!

This was extremely funny to Hubby and I. But I found out a couple days later that Hubby was particularly amused because he never heard me say my piece in the first place - he thought Sweetie came up with that gem on her own!


Sweetie wanted to wash her hands in the bathroom sink at Nana's house the other day. Nana said, Okay, but while you wash your hands, I'm going to comb your hair. That's the deal.

This prompted Sweetie to pipe right in with her thoughts.

No deal!

Obviously, we watch just a bit too much T.V.


Yesterday was probably (no - it was definitely) one of the worst days at work anyone could possibly imagine. I'd really rather not get into it - just suffice it to say - it was downright horrendously, terrifically, awfully, 110% miserable. So much so that I broke down into tears almost as soon as we got in the car to finally go home.

Cut to 20 minutes later when we arrived at my parents' house to celebrate my birthday with my favorite meal - chicken divan. And for dessert - a brownie cake! Hubby and I walk into their kitchen to the sight of my mom and Sweetie putting the last of the candles in my brownies.

Look, Mommy! This is for you! Happy birthday, Mommy! Nana and I made you this brownie cake for your birthday and I put all these pretty candles in it! See, there's a stripey one and polka dot ones and a white one! I made it for you! Happy birthday, Mommy!

Leave it to my Sweetie to turn a crappy, awful, tears-inducing day into a exciting, happy, tears-of-joy-and-laughter inducing evening.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ooo eee, Ooo eee Baby

Ooo eee, Ooo eee Baby
Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?

Why, yes, thank you. I think I will.

Yippee! Hubby and I booked ourselves a cruise to Bermuda! We'll be going for our anniversary in early October (well, actually we'll be back in town for our anniversary proper. But at least we both still have that day off from work to recuperate from our AWESOME CRUISE!!!!).

Y'all don't understand just how cool this is. I mean, of the two most recent "vacations" we've taken - the last one was a long weekend to the Berkshires the summer before I had Sweetie. It sounded like a great, romantic place. And it looked beautiful on the internet. But in actuality it was pretty boring. Which is fine and all if you want to relax, which we did. But SOME interesting activity would have been nice to capture our attention.

Oh, and the "vacation" we took before that was driving my grandfather's old, in-danger-of-stalling-everytime-we-slowed-down Ford Tempo back to New Hampshire from Ohio after his funeral. Fun, fun. (actually - besides from the whole point of the trip in the first place, this was a pretty fun trip. We visited my home town of Cleveland, OH, saw the house I grew up in, went to the Cleveland Zoo, then drove on through NY, through the Finger Lakes region where we stayed overnight and visited several wineries. What a beautiful area - would love to return someday).

But - come on. A long weekend and a trip home (the long way) from my grandfather's funeral do not true vacations make. It's time. And the price is right. So we're going. Woo hoo! (oh, sorry. I meant - ooo eee!)

Neither of us has ever been on a cruise before. We've been cautioned not to eat for the entire week leading up to the trip because of all the food on the boat. Cool! I'm just looking forward to relaxing with a drink in my hand, watching the world go by and eating 'til I can't eats no more. You see, I'm not too big on actual activity - water sports, hikes, wild club scenes, etc. I'm sure, since it will all be available to us on the boat and on the island, we'll end up taking in our fair share of activities. But, really, I'll be happy just to "be".

When I think about it, a cruise is really the perfect vacation for me. I don't have to walk much to get anywhere. I can just sit on my lounge chair, take in some rays, and - voila! - I'm in Bermuda! Once there we can tour around the island, take our time and chill. Little to no physical stress to physically disabled me. Sounds good.

Cuz, you know, we've been toying with the idea of taking Sweetie to Disney World. I've been before, but neither hubby (nor Sweetie, of course) have. I SOOOOO want to go back. But the last time I was there I was 16 and went with my mom and my aunt. I got around the park via wheelchair. Not because I really needed it - it just made things easier and enabled us to go faster and see more things in a day without me tiring too quickly from too much walking. But, as much as it was useful to use the wheelchair there when I was 16, it would be downright crucial to use it as a 30-something year old. I'd do it, of course, but I hate feeling/looking different. I don't want to have to spend my vacation in a wheelchair. For my Sweetie - yes, anything. But - well, you know.

So anyway - a cruise. Yah, that'll do. Just my speed. The only drawback is - no Sweetie. :(

Yah, I know. I'm already crying over this. Eight days without my Sweetie!!!!! She'll be with my parents, so I know she'll be in good hands. But, boy will I miss her! The longest we've left her before was for, I think, 3 nights and that was very hard on me. (oh yeah. I guess that was a mini-vacation - to Montreal. Oops - forgot about that. Obviously it wasn't much to speak of, or remember fot that matter. But - now that I am thinking about it - you know why it wasn't much fun? Because my back hurt so badly that all we did was hole up in our hotel and its underground mall. Even that amount of walking really did me in). Anyway, Sweetie was only just over 1-year old at the time, so she didn't really care. But I cried. That was hard.

Now, for this time around, she'll be close to 4 years old and will be well aware that we're leaving her behind. She loves Nana and Papa Dave's house, though. I know she'll have fun and be totally fine. But it will still be very hard.

I'll just have to use the boat's email service EVERY DAY and send and receive emailed pictures so we can still be "close". Hopefully that will help me feel better about not having her there with us.

That, and the Midori margaritas I plan to have in my system at all times. That will probably help too. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mama Monday #13

Theme: Ache

My body aches. Specifically, my lower back tightens, pulls and burns virtually everytime I stand up and take my first few steps. Not just the first steps of my day, but every first steps I take throughout the day after sitting for a period of time.

Not only this, but my left upper leg aches as well. This one actually starts with a tingly numbness, making it increasingly difficult to maneuver through the grocery store and all but impossible to climb even one single step or street curb. Numbness with burning pain. Odd, but very real. Very annoying.

I visit a chiropractor weekly. And thank God for that - I can't imagine just how much more severe this pain could possibly get.

I pride myself on having a pretty high pain tolerance. But, man oh man, these awful aches and pains have brought tears to my eyes on more than a few occasions, and a frustration in my gut that I'm simply not able to do all that I would like.

Given my physical disability (weak legs and a curved, incomplete spine) I fully expected pregnancy would do a number on my body. I would probably end up in a wheelchair by the time my third trimester rolled around. And I'd definitely get a lot more tired and achy a lot sooner than the average woman with each and every passing month of Sweetie's gestation. I was just hopeful that my regular chiropractic appointments would keep my pregnancy-driven downward decline at bay for as long as possible.

However, as it turned out, my pregnancy was a breeze (more or less). I walked the entire time and felt little to no physical pain even as I reached my peak weight of more than 27 lbs heavier than what is normal for me. Great! That went much smoother than I had ever imagined it could.

Once Sweetie arrived and my weight returned to normal, I figured all my physical worries were over. No more pregnancy pounds to load me down and weaken me more than I already was.

Boy, was I wrong.

As Sweetie started to gain some real weight - more than 10 lbs. or so - the constant lifting, turning and rocking with her slowly broke me down. These never-ending motions done with an ever-growing baby in my arms, are what started the ball rolling on all my lower back aches and all my leg spasms, numbness and pains.

Like I said, my chiropractor helps. And I've even visited my neurosurgeon as well to see if something was actually wrong near the site of my initial back closure surgery. But, no. Everything seems in reasonably good order. But I'm now continuously using muscle groups I've not used before. And so I ache.

Sweetie is older now and requires very little lifting by me. I'm hopeful that my body soon realizes it can rest now (more or less) and return to an ache-free state. But I've been hopeful of that for about a year or so now and still the pains continue.

Some days are worse than others. Some days are almost fine. But EVERY day there's at least a small physical twinge, just a slightly bothersome ache that reminds me that my body will never be what it once was.

But I have my Sweetie. My healthy, active, loving Sweetie. And for her I am extremely grateful and at peace.

By Golly, I Think She's Got It!

For the past week and a half, Sweetie has been going to bed perfectly. Not getting out of bed even her one typical time. She just gets in bed and stays. Yay!

The change in her behavior seemed to coincide with a particularly bad bedtime experience. Sometime during our vacation, Sweetie was put to bed one night no less than 5 or 6 times before she finally snuck out to the poposan chair in the next room over from hers. Hubby had to put the soundly sleeping Sweetie back to bed later that night when we went to bed ourselves.

The next night before Hubby took Sweetie up to bed, she and I exchanged our usual "hug, kiss and a nose". Then I looked her in the eye and asked her what time she was supposed to get out of bed. When she answered. 6 or 7, I continued by asking her if she promised me she'd stay in bed all night until then.

I promise., she answered.

Yah, right, I thought to myself. I've had this conversation before with her to no avail. But there's always a chance, I guess.

Well, Hubby and I couldn't believe it, but she actually did stay in bed, right from the start. Cool! But we figured it must be a fluke, right? Highly doubtful that the next night would produce similar results.

But you know what? She did it again! I went through the same motions of asking Sweetie the same pre-bedtime questions, waiting for the desired answer. And she again stayed in bed just perfectly. Wow!

Each night since has been great! I think out of almost 2 weeks of this, Sweetie has only done her one-time-out-of-bed thing 1 time. On a couple occasions, last night being one of them, she's more or less sleep-walked herself to the poposan after spending a couple hours in her bed. I figure I must have disturbed her when I was getting ready for bed myself and she woke enough to auto-pilot herself to the chair. But that's okay - she's zonked enough for Hubby to put her back in her bed with no problem at all.

Good job, Sweetie. I don't know what finally clicked in your head to finally make you understand about keeping promises and doing as Daddy and I ask. But whatever happened, we're so proud of you. Not only are you going to sleep better, but you're eating better, sharing and socializing better, and maybe, just maybe, starting to get interested in using the potty.

Yay, Sweetie. Love you!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #7

Netflix movie of the day: I finally got my Pride and Prejudice! Yay! Now, if only I can find the time to watch it.

Sweetie is all about reasoning these days, whether or not she realizes it. She's still got some issues to work out, but I applaud her effort.

The last couple times I've given her a bath, she's stepped in and said:

Mommy, this is too hot! I need it warmer.

She wants the water warm, not hot. Makes sense to me!


My dad's birthday is today and mine is in a week. The other night while at my parents' house I asked Sweetie how old she thought Papa Dave was going to be.

Um, I think Papa Dave is going to be..... 11 years old!

Oh, you do? Well, what about me? How old am I going to be on my birthday?

You're going to be 6 years old, Mommy!

At this, she got excited about listing everyone's ages. She continued:

I am 3 years old, and Daddy is,.... I think 7 years old!

Next came Nana. She asked:

How old do you think I am, Sweetie?

Um, you're 6 years old, Nana!

Good answer, Sweetie, mom said. You may continue coming over everyday.

My Hubby pointed out to Sweetie, Well, while your reasoning is flawless, and your politics are perfect, you've still go a lot to learn about ages.


Sweetie thinks object can only be in one of two positions: either upside down or upside ways.

Ohhhhh, Mommy! That cup fell upside down! You need to put it upside ways!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wow! Look at Me!

Welcome to my new digs! Thanks to Kelly over at Nello Design, I have a whole new home! Yay!

I am sooooo LOVING it! I love the stripes - they're from a close up photo I took of my favorite sweater. And, of course, I love my picture of my Sweetie! She was about 7+ months old in this shot. I love her adorable "Disney-esque" face (as one friend opined when he first saw this pic). Plus I love how you can see my braced legs stretched out besides her. The perfect image for what I'm all about! :)

I can't thank Kelly enough! She is the absolute BEST! Check out her blog and her new web design business. She does beautiful work, wouldn't you say?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Big Changes A Brewin'

Hi Everyone. I'm just writing a "quickie" tonight to let you know to watch for BIG CHANGES here at Spina Bifida Moms. Maybe as soon as tomorrow (not sure about that - we'll have to see) - come back and be ready to be AMAZED!

That's all I'm sayin' about that right now. You'll just have to come back to see what I'm talking about.

Oh, and then there's this - CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THE DEBACLE THAT WENT DOWN ON AMERICAN IDOL LAST NIGHT???!!!!! I LOOOOVVVVVEEEEEEEE Chris!! He was an absolute sure shot to win! What the heck happened!!!!!!??????

Ahem. Okay, that's it. Sorry - had to vent.

Come back soon! :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mama Monday #12

Theme: Juicy

Sweetie loves her fruit! Ripe, red, juicy strawberries. Fresh cantaloupe or honeydew. Red and green grapes, apple slices with cinnamon, bite sized tomatoes (yes, tomatoes are a fruit too). And, as my regular readers may recall - avocados! Sweetie loves avocados.

My husband and I are semi-vegetarian. That is, we've run the gamut from meat eaters, to vegetarians, vegans, following the macrobiotic diet - on back to semi-vegetarians. We eat chicken, fish and eggs. And even the very occasional meat product - I personally can't resist a steak and cheese sub or fast food burger every once in awhile, even though my belly would advise me against it.

We're raising Sweetie on this diet as well, although we are restricting the red meats from her. The reddest meat she's ever eaten was ham, which she loved for awhile but now won't touch. That's fine with us.

We recently went to one of Sweetie's little friend's birthday party. Lunch was served - hamburgers and hot dogs! All the kids were so excited - except Sweetie. She'd have nothing to do with those choices (hubby and I resigned ourselves to letting her indulge in some hot dog if she wanted. But she didn't.)

Instead, she wanted fruit. Only strawberries, grapes, tomatoes and cantaloupe for her. So we piled her plate high and she happily dug in to her delicious treats.

And again, last night at the ice cream stand. Hubby and I gave in to our own cravings for hot dogs (See. I told you we weren't very strict about the vegetarian thing). I offered Sweetie a bite of my dog. She almost did it, but then said no. She only wanted my hot dog bun. Oh, and the potato chips.

I am thrilled Sweetie loves her fruits and veggies so much. We eat pasta primavera for dinner and she only wants the carrots and broccoli. We have a full brunch of sweet danish, yummy french toast and crispy bacon. And all she wants is the fruit salad.

Good for you, Sweetie. Keep it up! Keep lovin' all the good things in life - including sweet, drippy, juicy fruits.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Super Amazing, Magically Self-Loading Dishwasher!

Guess what I just did? Now, I don't mean to brag or anything. But - I just ran my dishwasher!

I know. You're jealous. I'm sorry....

Oh. I'm sorry. What's that you say? You don't think this is such a big deal? You do it all the time? Well, okay, I guess.

But I bet you're dishwasher isn't a Super Amazing, Magically Self-Loading Dishwasher much like my own!

That's right, magic, I say! I just go along, minding my own business, living my life. Then 'lo and behold, a couple times a week I happen through the kitchen, pass the dishwasher - and see that it's all loaded up ready to get detergent-ized and run! Like I said - AMAZING!

How does one acquire one of these handy-dandy Super Amazing Magically Self-Loading miracles of the modern world? Well, I'll tell ya (even though I may have to kill ya afterwards. Hmmm. Such are the risks I'm willing to take to help YOU and spread the word about this wonderful appliance).

So, what you have to do is visit There you'll see a veritable cornucopia of household organizational and life decluttering tactics. And there, at the top of the Beginner Baby Steps list you'll read about this awesome key to better living through cleanliness....

Go Shine Your Sink!

Basically, FlyLady advocates not leaving a sink full of dirty dishes behind when you go off to bed every night. She encourages you to put all dishes right into the dishwasher as you finish using them. Then, taking it a step further, finish each evening with a quick scrub of the sink itself. And I really do mean a "quick scrub". After all, if you're doing it every day, how grungy can the stainless steel get? Not too bad, I tell ya. Not bad at all.

I've been under Miss FlyLady's wing for about two months now. The first month or so was great! Even my husband was on board. No dishes in the sink for us, boy! Everything went straight from the table (or, more likely, our laps from the couch) into the dishwasher. And I shined my sink so nice and pretty! What a happy homemake I was (so what if my skills didn't carry out into other rooms of the house. That sink was spotless!)

Now, in the second month of FlyLady Livin', Hubby has started to fall off the bandwagon a bit. I'm having to remind him more and more...

Just release that little black latch on the big, black, under-the-counter "thing" we store in our kitchen and feed it with silverware, plates and cups. It's a hungry, hungry "beast" that needs to constantly be fed a regular diet. Please, oh please help me feed it, lest it get angry and start to revolt!

But now, wait a minute. Time to confess. I guess I've slipped a little from the driver's seat of the bandwagon myself. While I do still keep up with the dishes-straight-to-dishwasher thing, I've not actively shined my sink in some time now. I think I did it last weekend - in time for the Sunday brunch we hosted. But before that? Yeah... I don't remember.

But at least it's empty! And in my book, that's pretty awesome!

So, the bonus found here is just like I said - simply continue to fill the dishwasher as you go and - POOF! - one day it's all of a sudden ready to run! Just add the detergent, push the button and your done! Easy beans!

Then there's the unloading. Okay, so that's a bit of work I guess. But I personally don't mind this chore. Nice, warm, clean plates and silverware to slip back into their proper "homes"? Yeah, that's easy. Not really a big, difficult job at all.

Now, aren't y'all just itchin' to get on the FlyLady bandwagon with me? Yeah, I thought so. It will be cool. We can even come up with our own private handshake, a club oath, and theme song. And, hey! - maybe my graphic artist husband can whip up a sparkly, shiny-as-a-kitchen-sink logo for us! Maybe that will help foster a sense of community in him and he'll get back into the swing of things with me. Cool!

Are ya in? Yay! Now get dressed to lace up shoes and meet me in the kitchen tonight at 8pm sharp.

See ya then!

(Oh, and don't worry. I won't kill you. Won't even hurt 'cha. I'm rather in a good mood today. You're safe.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #6

Haven't mentioned the Netflix movie of the day in a couple weeks because Hubby still hasn't watched Man on the Train yet. And we also have The Count of Monte Cristo - also a Hubby movie. Also as yet unwatched. Personally, I vote for just sending them back unwatched so I can get my Pride and Prejudice finally sent to me.


One of Sweetie's favorite songs is Behind These Hazel Eyes by Kelly Clarkson. This is Sweetie's version of that song's chorus:

Here I am, Once again

I'm soakin' in the pieces

Here's the lion, Here's the tail

I'm soakin' number one

We'll be up, We'll be sunny

...and then the next line gets kind of fuzzy - even for Sweetie, I'm afraid. But the last line of her chorus is:

But I can't hear the lights.

Too, too funny.


Sweetie has started to experiment with common idioms of the English language - and not all very polite ones at that. But she's still unsure how to really apply them so, at this point, it's still pretty cute. This past week alone we've heard her exclaim, Whatever., I don't care., and, the funniest of them all, as detailed in the following story -

Last weekend we took Sweetie out for ice cream. She wanted her usual - vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Fine.

Problem is - all she did was continuously dip her spoon in the chocolate sauce reservoir at the bottom of her dish, totally neglecting the ice cream. Hubby and I kept asking her about this, encouraging her to eat the ice cream too.

Sweetie. Why aren't you eating the ice cream? Eat!

At that, Sweetie threw her hands up in the air in exasperation and plainly asked:

What's the problem?!

No problem at all, Sweetie. No problem at all. It was really too cold to eat ice cream that day anyway. You clearly knew what you were doing and had the situation under control.

Plus, you made Daddy and I laugh so hard tears were streaming down our faces.

No problem here at all.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Here we are, half-way through our wonderful vacation week. So far...

We've visited a farm/petting zoo. Sweetie really loved it - she got to feed llamas, sheep and goats out of her hand. She saw piggies, miniture and regular-sized horses, a cow, and many, many other animals. However, Hubby and I made the mistake of telling her we were going to the "zoo". So, ultimately, she cried much of the way home saying, But, I thought we were going to the zooooooo. Wah, wah, wah.

My trio of awesome shoes all arrived.... and I'm sending two of the pairs back from whence the came. :( Turns out their waffly/wavy/weird soles and lack of support where I need it most makes for much badness for my walking habits. Plus, they simply weren't as adorable in real life as they were on the web. You're really pronating in those, the Hubby says. And you know when the big words come out, he means business. So back they go. Oh well, the one pair is good. And I found some cute, appropriate sandals and work shoes at, you guessed it, Payless when we went shopping yesterday. Both of these pairs of shoes cost together much less than just one pair of the shoes-going-back. Good deal after all.

Yesterday we visited our friends in Keene. Overall a good trip. But Sweetie was mildly upset that she couldn't take our friends' funny face game home with her. And she whined about it for a bit of the trip home. Wah, wah.

Today we went to the Children's Museum and Sweetie had a fantabulous time. Although at first she seemed to consider the whole building (a large, old home in downtown Portsmouth, NH) an obstacle course for her own amusement. That is, she had no interest in doing any of the activities or playing any of the games. She just wanted to look around every corner and climb every staircase to see where it led.

She was, however, fascinated by the huge, 3-story submarine replica. Climbing, jumping, hiding, searching every last corner of it - again, and again, and again. And, much to the dismay of my Hubby, children under 5- years old have to be accompanied throughout this structure because of the potentially dangerous ladders, slide and jumps. Hubby - all 6 feet tall of him - bumped his head on the inner workings of the submarine no less than three times. And, try as he might, he could not stop Sweetie from her desire to jump down the hole from the second story to the first. (Okay, okay. So he was able to stop her from this. But Sweetie was not very understanding of the impending danger ahead if she had jumped down the hole. Oh, and it really wasn't just a hole in the floor. There was a ladder there to climb up and down. We just didn't trust Sweetie's coordination and patience to successfully manage this challenge on her own. So we said no).

If I was more agile on my feet, I would have gladly helped out with Sweetie in the submarine. But, of course, I am not. So, even though I am the parent who fit better in the structure, I was not the parent who was better able to chase after our eager 3-year old.

When we finally left and headed for home, (much earlier than expected. I thought we'd end up making a day of it in ol' Portsmouth, ending with a nice dinner out - albeit with Sweetie in tow. Alas, that was not to be. We were home by 3:45 pm) Sweetie whined and cried half way home, asking to go back to the museum. Wah, wah, double WAH.

P.S. At dinner tonight - spaghetti at home - we asked Sweetie what she liked best at the museum. We asked if she liked the boat best. Yeah, I liked the Boat Room best. But, I think I liked the Princess Room best, not the Boat Room. Yeah, that makes sense. The room that she spent, oh, maybe one whole minute in and didn't want to do any of the activities in. She liked that better than the activity she played at more than 1/2 of the entire time we were there. Whatever.

Tomorrow - we send Sweetie away to Nana's house for the day. Hubby is going to either A) help his dad out with a Fix-It job, or B) work on his own projects in our basement. And I've got a few fast approaching writing deadlines that I need to work on. And the subject of my writing? Well - of course, Sweetie. But specific topics? Yeah, I got nothin'. My mind, patience, attitude, and body are totally depleted. I'm sure I'll come up with something. I always do. But as for now - zip, zilch, nada.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully the Writing Gods will smile down on me over night and I'll wake up refreshed, full of many humorous, inspirational and meaningful topics to write about and share with the rest of the world.

Let's hope so, anyway. Otherwise I might cry.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Mama Monday #11

Theme: Liquid

Tears. Liquid emotion. Sadness, fear, frustration, happiness, joy. Tears when you're in pain. Tears when you're tired.

Before I became a mother I couldn't stand to hear crying babies. If ever I was holding my infant neices or nephew and their tears started to fall, I would instantly give them back to their rightful parents. I had no clue how to soothe their tears. Were they crying because of me? Was I holding them wrong? Were they uncomfortable? Hungry? Wet?

Baby tears confused and scared me. And I simply couldn't deal.

Then I had Sweetie. And she cried. Within her first hour of life she cried. And I was there to comfort her. I instintively knew what to do to ease her cries and stop her tears. Her tears didn't confuse or scare me. All I knew was that my newly dubbed Sweetie needed me. And I was there.

I soothed her. And she soothed me.

As Sweetie grew I was able to more clearly define what her many different cries signified. Hunger. Discomfort. Frustration. And even though I could not walk around with her, giving her a fresh view on her little world, I could sit with her on the couch and rock her in my arms, singing softly into her ear. She and I bonded during these times and I mastered my ability to stop her tears quickly and calmly.

As a toddler Sweetie became more and more of a Daddy's girl. And she began to understand more and more about what I am physically able to do - and not do - for her. Her tears turned into pleas for, Daddy, I want up! I was no use to her. I could not deliver. Her tears, which I once felt so comfortable with remedying, became a source of frustration and anger for me. Instead of seeing her tears and thinking, My poor baby. I know how to help, they now only brought forth my quick temper and frustration. I could not physically help her, and that was that.

Now Sweetie is beginning to use her tears for manipulation. And I am beginning to rethink my views on tears once again. Returning to my roots - I don't like hearing cries and seeing tears. Not when they're only used in an attempt to gain something desirable, anyway. When a certain little girl doesn't get what she wants and she cries about it, she gets no sympathy from me. She only gets a stern word or two and a time out.

Teaching Sweetie how to properly ask for the things she wants and how to bravely, graciously accept the things she cannot change. Teaching her that tears are not to be ashamed of and are definitely an appropriate way to express all sorts of emotions. But there is a time and place for everything. Tears cannot, and should not, solve all problems.

May I be able to teach her how to communicate properly and express her emotions and desires in acceptable ways.

May I raise a happy, healthy, well-adjusted daughter.

May we all experience many more tears of joy and happiness in our lives than tears of sadness, pain and frustration.

This is my wish for my daughter, for my family... and for the world.